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Has anyone converted their X-Pro 1 to an IR camera?

Discussion in 'Infrared (IR) Photography' started by Pete in SD, Jul 17, 2017.

  1. Pete in SD

    Pete in SD New Member

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    Here's the deal: I have a X-T10 for interchangeable lenses (I shoot primes 90% of times so weight/balance lens is not really an issue, yet) and a X100f as my new hybrid viewfinder camera. That leaves me with my old but well loved XP1. I kept it for so long because I loved the B & Ws I got out of that camera. I could not reproduce that, in my mind's eye, until I began to use Across with the X100f. So now I feel bad because I just do not use the XP1 anymore. A friend suggested I get it converted to an IR camera.

    I'm now seriously thinking about this because: 1) I'm sad to see my XP1 become a paper weight, 2) the cost for conversion is probably what I'd get for the body if I sold it anyway, and 3) it would open up a whole new realm of photography to explore.

    Has anyone done this?
     
  2. ryanlio

    ryanlio Premium Member

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    The xpro1 is still a good camera. The output is as organic as it gets. If this is your only xpro1. Keep it, you will love it. I have the xpro1 converted. Yes it opens up interesting photo ops. I do have a few xpro1 though. I converted mine because it gives me an excuse to shoot landscapes in noon, harsh light as well. The harsher the better.. ahha. Well, if unsure, you could use a filter and try it out with camera mounted.
     
  3. Pete in SD

    Pete in SD New Member

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    Thanks! The filter idea is a good one. I know what you mean about the XP1 files' "look"! I was tempted because here in San Diego all we ever have is harsh light. I love the Acros but the XP1 still has that something! : )
     
  4. The Mis'

    The Mis' Well-Known Member

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    I converted my XPro 1 to full spectrum and now use it with 720nm or 590nm IR filters. Still learning... :)
     
  5. F2Bthere

    F2Bthere Premium Member

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    I use my XP1 too much to convert it :). But if you are not actively using it, I think it's a great way to breath life into an unused camera. If I wasn't actively using mine, I would do it.

    I have used it with the filter and was pretty happy with the results. A converted camera would be much better because it is more usable--unconverted you need fairly long exposures or tons of strobe power. The OVF is a good bonus when you have the filter on.
     
  6. ryanlio

    ryanlio Premium Member

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    I run my X-T2 with the 23 f1.4 or the 16 f1.4 with ir filter too. Non converted. If acros is what you prefer, then it should not be a problem handheld f1.4, ISO 800-1600 (didn't acros looks better at ISO 1600). I guess it really depends what look you going for. For me, I don't like my pictures pin-sharp.. haha. It's just too digital. ;) Enjoy shooting.
     
  7. GregWard

    GregWard Premium Member

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    Mirrorless cameras convert very well - much better than DSLR's. IR light focusses at a slightly different point (those old enough will remember our old lenses used to have a secondary focus line back in the film days!) so the DSLR style of Phase Detect AF needs to be re-calibrated. The CDAF on a Mirrorless, or even the Mirrorless form of PDAF, use the light falling onto the sensor itself - so don't need re-calibration. Plus the "what you see is what you get" EVF means that you can see in infra-red with a converted mirrorless camera.

    Obviously that last advantage is offset by the optical part of the X-P1. But otherwise the camera is a decent candidate for conversion (and I'd agree that pre-conversion the OVF is helpful). But then there's a major question around what sort of conversion? There's an extensive sub-forum on this site that's worth browsing through. Plus I'd recommend checking out...

    Please login to view links

    ... if you haven't already? As I'm British I haven't used them (no point in exporting/importing when we have good conversion Companies here) but their site is very informative and I believe your fellow Americans have had good experience using them?

    The one criticism I would have of Lifepixel is that they use descriptions for their filters (like "Deep BW IR") rather than the filter numbers. I get the simplicity of their approach but it means they're at odds with everyone else (who would use something like 830nm). Humans can see light in the range of 400-700nm (or a little bit wider). Lower than 400 (if you didn't know) is ultraviolet and higher is the near infra-red we use for IR photography. A 720nm filter blocks everything below - so can only "see" near IR - 830nm is then slightly more extreme. Both of these filters will essentially create a monochrome image but with the light areas being those that reflect near IR. For example foliage is typically fairly dark to our eyes but is highly reflective of near IR (so appears white). If you want so called "false colour" IR then really you need a filter that still allows some visible light (eg a 590nm).

    The big consideration is then that all the filters you are likely to want come in two forms. One is simply a suitably sized lens filter and the other is a replacement for the sensor filter that is removed during conversion. To protect the sensor (and maintain the AF as it is) you must have something to replace the filter that's removed. But this could be a plain piece of glass. This gives you a "full spectrum" conversion. You can then do anything and, note, this includes fitting the same sort of "cut" filter that you just had removed but, this time, as a lens filter. It's much less convenient but would restore your X-P1 to its current state; ie you wouldn't lose anything (except convenience and cost!). The down side of a full spectrum conversion is that you then always need to use filters. If you know exactly what type of conversion you want then you would simply specify the correct type of (sensor) filter to use - then you're done. You can always add filters in (as it were) the right way. A 590nm, for example, will block everything below that. So you could use the camera without a lens filter for false colour. But then add (say) a 720nm lens filter to get B&W IR shots. But you can't do vice versa - the 720nm would already block everything below 720nm so adding a 590nm would be pointless.

    Hope that helps?
     
  8. GregWard

    GregWard Premium Member

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    Sorry double post - my Internet is incredibly slow (perils of being in my house in very rural France!
     
  9. streetsntravel

    streetsntravel Premium Member

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    Greg, one of the best one-page layman summaries of spectrum cutoffs I've seen. Thanks for taking the time.

    Roger
     
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  10. rfjeff

    rfjeff Well-Known Member

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    Convert it. Lifepixel did my XP1 with 830nm filter. LRM_EXPORT_20170101_143720.jpg
     
  11. adnan w

    adnan w Premium Member

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    Another +1 to just filter it as is.
    For my eye digital IR images look best at higher ISO more grainy images.... others like this hard plastic clean images which is cool too.
    If you get a Hoya/Tiffen IR 720nm filter and put it on one of your lenses and just shoot it!
    I did this with the M8 which has a weak IR cut filter.
    All Digital cameras let some IR through. You'll get less sensitivity with a filter but it will still be highly usable.
     
  12. SausalitoDog

    SausalitoDog Premium Member

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    Well, I converted my XE1 when the xe2 was delivered..

    My advice is to try the filter first and see if you will really use an IR camera...it's not so simple as you might think.

    In my case, I used it 2 or 3 times and it's sat on the shelf ever since.

    Keep in mind that the cost of IR conversion is more than the xp1 will sell for, so you are making an investment in the conversion.

    For my money, the IR software does nearly the same job as the IR lens. The filter as good as the converted body. It's not something most people will use very often as it's so limiting and difficult to process..

    But just my 2 cents...want a deal on a pristine xe1 converted :) ?

    cheers,

    tom
     
  13. streetsntravel

    streetsntravel Premium Member

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    Tom, all this is good to know. What did you find most difficult in making an IR image? Did you try filters first and then opt for the conversion? Which conversion did you get? (IR or full spectrum). Would you recommend one type of conversion over the other? Sorry for the barrage of questions. I've always looked at the output and been very impressed.

    Roger
     
  14. GregWard

    GregWard Premium Member

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    Sorry but as somebody who takes a lot of IR Photos, and is still often surprised by the exact effects I get, I can't agree that IR Software does nearly the same thing. However, I do strongly agree that IR Photography is, as it were, an acquired taste. So it is definitely worth OP trying out a lens filter before going to the cost of a conversion. However, a few things to bear in mind:

    1. Don't buy a very cheap lens filter. There are some threads on this forum about people who've bought too cheap a filter and struggled to get anything sensible.

    2. Some of the Fuji lenses suffer from "hot spots" (in effect flare but badly controlled because it's flare in the IR spectrum and not necessarily controlled by the lens designer). The 14mm and the 18-135 are very good choices of lenses that rarely have hot spots - so either is a good choice if you have one?

    3. Adding an IR lens filter to an unconverted camera is like using a very strong neutral density filter. Remember your unconverted camera has a filter in front of the sensor that is meant to block all IR light. Then you add a lens filter that blocks all light that ISN'T infra-red. If both filters worked perfectly then it would be the same as leaving the lens cap on. In practise the sensor filter is not perfect (at all) so it's easy for the lens filter to be better. But exposures will need to be long, the EVF will be very dark (hence the earlier comment about the OVF) and/or ISO will need to be high. A converted camera is just much more usable. But only if you get into IR Photography. So heed the warning from @SausalitoDog and "try before you buy".
     
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  15. apsphoto

    apsphoto Premium Member

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    I have to agree with GregWard and Sausalitodog, you should try it before converting. I have not modified my Fuji cameras, but I did it with a Canon 40D that I had and I used it a few times and then have not since. It can be nice and you can make some interesting images. I know when I see threads of images from IR cameras it often makes me want to jump back in, but I rarely find things on a day to day basis that work well for IR. I live in an urban environment that is rarely cloudy, so yes you can find images but a lot do not work well or are not as interesting at least to me. I wish there was a place that rented converted cameras, that would make it easier to try and see if I would really use the camera, but as of now I would not spend the money again. Just my $0.02 worth.
    Alan
     
  16. GregWard

    GregWard Premium Member

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    Difficult to disagree Alan. Of course the counter arguement is that it can be fun to experiment. But that's for those of us with an existing converted body - it's a tough arguement to suggest converting a camera just to try to find IR opportunities. Lately I've been in to using my converted 720nm X-E1 (I have a "false colour" converted X-E1 as well) but then not desaturating the images. Traditionally of course we think of images taken with a 720nm filter as being monochrome. But that needn't necessarily be the case...

    _DSF0195.jpg

    Like I say - it can be worth experimenting! But it still makes sense to "try before you buy" for the OP.
     
  17. Mr Perceptive

    Mr Perceptive Premium Member

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    The main problem as highlighted above by @GregWard is that many lenses have hot spots (especially stopped down), I've not tried the newer F2 primes, but of the other lenses most have hot spots, with the exception of the 14mm and 18-135mm, so if you don't have those lenses, then I would think twice about your IR project.
     
  18. Pete in SD

    Pete in SD New Member

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    Thank you everyone for your replies! Your comments and examples have been very helpful. I will likely "try before I buy". I love black and white so I roughly no the spectrum I'm looking for. Off to Europe for a couple of months next month so this venture will be delayed a bit but when I return and get my teeth into this I'll post some shots.
     

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